Spectator Books: Ed Vulliamy - how music helps me report from the front line

Jan 02, 08:17 PM

In this week’s books podcast we’re going to the wars. Sam's guest is Ed Vulliamy, the veteran war correspondent who has written a fascinating memoir called When Words Fail: A Life With Music, War and Peace. In it, Ed talks about how his lifelong love of music — he saw Hendrix at the Isle of Wight — has threaded through his terrifying adventures in conflict zones from Bosnia to Iraq to the Mexican/American border; and of how music really can salve the soul when everything else is broken. He describes his own terrifying experiences with PTSD, snagging the last interview with BB King, and how playing “Kashmir” over and over again while roaring unembedded around a battle-zone led him to a friendship with Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant.